Watch Kids for Cash
- 1 hr 42 min
Kids for Cash is a documentary film that delves into the corruption scandal that rocked the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania back in 2008. Directed by Robert May, the film presents a shocking exposÃ© of how two judges colluded to send thousands of young children to detention centers for minor offenses in exchange for kickbacks from the owners of the facilities.
The film follows the stories of four families whose children were affected by this travesty of justice. At the center of the film are two former judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, who were responsible for the scandal. Ciavarella and Conahan were abusing their power for years and using their positions to make money at the expense of innocent children.
The documentary explores the reasons behind their actions and how they got away with it for so long. Through interviews with judges, lawyers, and victims' families, it becomes clear that the situation was far from isolated, and the problem is systemic throughout the United States.
One striking aspect of the film is the way it humanizes the victims of the scandal. The filmmakers skillfully convey how the legal system steered these young children towards institutions that could not, and would not, help them. One of the children featured in the film is Charlie Balasavage, whose story is especially poignant. He was sentenced to a detention center at 14 years old, along with his friend Justin Bodnar, after being falsely accused of theft. Balasavage, whose mother was also falsely accused and incarcerated, shares his experiences of being subjected to harsh conditions while in the facility, with no access to proper education, medical care or mental health services.
The documentary also showcases the efforts of community activists and lawyers who managed to fight back against the injustices. The film highlights how the community rallied to bring the corrupted system to task, with the help of organizations such as the Juvenile Law Center. For years, these groups had been speaking out against the abuses of the system, but it wasn't until this scandal erupted that their voices were finally heard.
Overall, Kids for Cash is a powerful and compelling documentary that brings an important issue to light. The film is balanced in its portrayal of the events, and the personal stories of the victims and their families are moving. The footage and interviews are expertly edited to create a captivating and thought-provoking piece of cinema that sheds light on a complex and disturbing issue.
The film was released in 2013, and in the years since, it has contributed significantly to the ongoing conversation about juvenile justice reform. The documentary has been praised for its impact on public policy, as it has helped to spur change in the way the law deals with minors. Moreover, Kids for Cash has also encouraged individuals to speak out against any abuses of power they may encounter, emphasizing the importance of holding those in authority accountable.
In conclusion, Kids for Cash is a poignant, well-crafted documentary that should be required viewing for anyone interested in justice reform. Though it tells a story of tragedy, the film ultimately promotes a message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Through its extensive research and powerful storytelling, the documentary makes a compelling case for change and reminds us of the importance of speaking truth to power.
Kids for Cash is a 2014 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 75.